Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review: Cold City by F.Paul Wilson

Cold City By F.Paul Wilson

Repairman Jack early years book one Tor hardcover 365 pages

Last year I read all the novels in the secret history of world saga by F.Paul Wilson, That includes three different novel series and with this book you can include a trilogy that makes four, count them four different series that weave into a story that starts in Wilson's classic novel “The Keep,” and concludes in his end of the world novel “Nightworld.” If you want to read the story and I advocate fans of horror and weird crime you do just that you'll have to commit to at least two of the series including the six books of the Adversary cycle series and the fifteen novels of Repairman Jack. I know it is a lot but I was quickly hooked and they read quick thanks to Wilson's lean prose and excellent world class plotting.

You have to be a master of plotting to weave one story through this. Let me break it down.

3 Young Jack YA novels

3 Repairman Jack early years novels (two and three forthcoming)

6 Adversary cycle novels (but Wilson's WW II epic black wind connects strongly to the saga as well)

15 Repairman Jack novels (but keep in mind Adversary cycle #6 and RMJ #15 are the same novel.)

OK follow that because Wilson perfectly weaves the plot together over 26 novels (or at least 24 already released) Fans already know how it ends but the early years when Jack left his life and went off the grid in NYC becoming a extra legal problem solver were the one gap in his story. After huge fan demand (these books are quiet bestsellers) Wilson agreed to tell that story over three books.

This is clearly a Repairman Jack novel, fans of the series will be happy. It is a classic Jack story which explains how he became friends with a gun dealing lonely Jewish man. A Latino lower east side bar owner and found a robin Hood-ish life of crime. The only challenge for Wilson and this novel is that as a prequel the novel could not explore the supernatural and otherness story line as deeply as the classic novels.

Wilson has knack for surprises that often include misdirection in the plot. I was surprised how much this novel connects to the saga much in the way the young jack novels do. While it is not even close to my favorite Jack novels (Harbingers, Legacies and The Haunted Air are my favorites) but I enjoyed this novel.

It is background on a favorite character. I wouldn't suggest starting here, but some day down the line of your Jack reading come back to this one. Trust me you'll miss Jack at some point.

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